LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Bears kicking competition took a big step forward.
Elliott Fry was released Sunday morning, clearing the way for Eddy Pineiro as the lone kicker on the roster.
“For right now, we feel good where he’s at,” remarked Bears head coach Matt Nagy.
However, Nagy said they could still bring in another kicker.
“Honestly, it doesn’t change anything. Still gotta make kicks. If I don’t make kicks, I’m going to be gone like everybody else,” explained Pineiro. “It does give me a confidence booster. It does give me a shot to be the guy.”
While Pineiro is excited for the opportunity, he feels bad for Fry. The two had become close during the ongoing battle at camp.
“I mean it sucks. At the end of the day it’s a business. I knew it was going to be one of us. It’s tough. He’s an NFL guy. I’ve said before. He’s going to play in the NFL for a while. This is not going to define him. ”
Fry missed a 47 yarder in Friday night’s loss to the Giants. Pineiro made both of his field goal attempts – one from 41 yards and one from 27 yards.
The former Florida product believes his booting ability has only improved since joining the Bears.
“From OTAs until today I feel like I’m a completely different kicker. I feel I’ve done a lot better since OTAs,” Pineiro noted. “My technique has gotten a lot better. That’s what I was working on with, with Jamie Kohl, the kicking consultant.
“My walk off and my steps because they know I have the leg strength. But, just trying to get my technique down pat. From my field goal steps from OTAs until now I feel like I’ve improved a lot in that.”
Pineiro’s next chance to prove himself comes Saturday in Indianapolis against the Colts.